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Plan for mental health facility to service north

By Mark Beale

THE announcement that a new Labor Government would make Townsville the north Queensland base for a residential care centre for young people with severe mental health problems, has been welcomed by Labor candidate for the seat of Whitsunday, Bronwyn Taha.

Ms Taha said a Labor Government would establish a therapeutic residential centre for up to eight patients in Townsville, which would also act as a transitional facility for young people in areas such as the Whitsundays, who may have to move into or out of treatment in Brisbane.

“This just goes to show that Labor is listening to our regional communities and the huge toll that mental health issues can have on families, as well as the importance of having the appropriate level of care available,” Ms Taha said.

“Mental health issues are just as important in the Whitsundays as [they are] in Brisbane, something Campbell Newman and Jason Costigan just don’t get.”

Ms Taha said the Townsville centre would also provide short-term residential care and a day program for lower severity patients from the surrounding areas.

She said the model of care would include integrated specialist education services with dedicated teachers and teacher’s aides and a family support service, with two, two-bedroom units that could accommodate visiting families of patients that live outside of Townsville.

“This is about putting in place the infrastructure and the staff to support young people with severe mental health issues before they can be moved to bigger specialist facilities that only exist in the south-east corner of the state,” she said.

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